“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters,” wrote Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci. Trump and the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to retain their hold on power, while President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris are quietly trying to move forward.
There would be a lot of things our politicians and people could learn from Deb Haarland, her roots and all Native American people, but some come instantly to mind:
1: That chiefs only stay in charge as long they can persuade and influence others to follow by the wisdom of their words and the effectiveness of their decisions
2: That the leader in peace is not necessarily he or she who leads in war
3: That the most respected person is he who most shares his riches with his fellows in need
4 That the people live as a part of nature in a mutually supportive relationship with other creatures and not as parasites profiting from nature
5: That land is not for sale it exists freely in its own right
6: That every part of nature has a "spirit" which must be respected
One could go on indeffinitely, but If 2021 is to be different from 2020 then we need to make a start on listening to the wisdom of people who developed their way of life over the thousands of years before we invaded their space.
I can't wait to see what Rep. Deb Haaland will do as Secretary of the Interior about the decision by the Supreme Court in 1980 that the Black Hills had been unconstitutionally taken from the Native Americans in 1877. The Fort Laramie Treaty stated that the Black Hills were for the "absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians." The Supreme Court awarded a monetary settlement rather than returning the land. The Native Americans told the Supreme Court that the land was not for sale and have refused to accept the money. Maybe it will take a couple of generations to somehow return the land gradually but inevitably, but it needs to happen. It really is the only way they will get true retribution. It is difficult to predict how the current Supreme Court will stand on this. In reading Heather's book on Wounded Knee it is amazing to me how much 1890 has parallels with 2020. Washington politics must change this time. We need a true new age this time!
“Now is the time of monsters.” This is, from my perspective, one of the best, if not the best, “Letters From an American” Doctor Richardson has penned. It presents a stark juxtaposition of the forces of destruction vs. the forces of construction; those dedicated to the dismantling of our nation for their own enrichment, arrayed against those determinately pledged to the reconstruction of our beloved country, against all odds.
I do have to raise one objection to the portrayal of this time period as “the time of monsters.” For too many of the denizens of what became the United States of America, the monsters roamed this continent even before the nation formally existed. From the point at which the seafarers from Europe stumbled upon this land mass, mistaking it for India, monstrous acts were committed against the territory and its peoples.
And as if those deeds were not nefarious enough, stolen peoples from distant homelands were transported to these shores to ensure that the wandering miscreants became obscenely wealthy.
The time in which we live is simply the culmination of the assorted abominations inflicted upon hapless and helpless peoples, Indigenous and forced migrants, over some six centuries. This Western cult of profit by any and all means had its birth on the far side of the ocean and was imported to this country by the men who were its most zealous acolytes.
But what is the real, the most important message from today’s “Letter”, is: “a new world struggles to be born.” These are the words that illuminate our time.
Two-thousand-and-twenty is the year that has seen the dismantling of the “old world”, and is the time to lay the groundwork for the new, even in the face of relentless and insidious attacks on that which we hold dear. It is the time, as well, that demands that we face those horrors which we have studiously ignored until today, when they have become too obvious and too appalling to deny any further.
Good morning, everyone. Like so many of you, I come here every day for a kind of centering time, usually before the sun rises. I find comfort in Heather's letters--even when they contain deeply disturbing information. "Contain" being the operative word, right?! Somehow, she reels in the national hysteria (alongside the numbing national ignorance, as in "ignoring"), makes clear what's true, and then places all of that in historic context.
I was a career writer/editor. I'm not being bullshitish when I say that I'm in awe of what Heather has gifted to us on this site, every day for more than a year. Also grateful for the commentary from the not-Heathers who educate me, too. Take-aways du jour:
** Deb Haaland: Perfect choice for Interior.
** Agencies/agents: Brain connected that ugly but comparatively simple sham to trump's self-serving, twisted way of governing.
** Horrified fascination: observing the sleight of many hands shifting demon status from Russia to China.
** Who knows what evil lurks in the Oval Office, the Pentagon, the DOJ? I hope there are whistles at the ready to be blown!
Every newsletter is a must-read for me, but the opening sentence Dr Richardson chose was a particularly inspired choice! Yes, a new world struggles to be born, and there are indeed *monsters* among us, but what worries me is how many of us (myself included on a lot of days) cling to our “old world.” I liked the freedom of not worrying whether I was going to catch a deadly virus any minute, I liked not worrying about national politics every damn day, I liked knowing competent people were (sometimes) making things work. But the injustices are too deep, the corruption increasingly obvious, and the lack of concern for human life too appalling. We have no choice but to create a better world in the coming years and decades. Will we be able to convince enough of our fellow citizens of that need, or will they cling so strongly to the old world that we can’t progress?
Very tough questions.
“Quiet but steady” should be the Biden admin’s motto. It is apparent that they want this cabinet to look like what America is all about, different cultures, different colors, different genders. We must embrace them all and forge ahead rather than be taken in by the thieves amongst us.
The choice of Haaland is by far, the most deserving. She is a woman. A single mom who had to get welfare to help take care of the child she was raising. She got grants and scholarships to help pay for her college education. She worked and still she prevailed. I am so very very happy to see her achieve this goal. Her background can only help Native Americans win back dignity that has been denied for way too long.
Let’s face facts...our race, the white one, has been cruel, committed malicious acts of violence, and stirred up the masses for hundreds of years. It is high time that this madness is tampered down by us! We must keep voicing our disgust and call out those doing damage publicly.
Yes, thank you HCR! The nomination of Representative Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior is indeed a ray of hope and a lifeline. But the rest of what is going on begs the question, when is enough enough? How long does the US allow Trump's alarming behavior wreak havoc on the American people? It seems clear to me that there need to be new guardrails erected to protect the country from a damaged and renegade president (and his supporters!).
HCR -- Thanks (as always) for your historical insights and context. I have no idea what our country could ever do to "make right" the injustices done to Native Americans since before our country's founding, but we should, or rather we MUST try.
This Letter brings tears, thank you Dr. Richardson. It’s so poignantly written and encapsulates the essence of our time...evidenced in one day.
I’d like to respectfully recommend reading the book, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It outlines the time described in today’s Letter in historic detail. It left me numb and feeling ashamed that people, so full of greed, can be so cruel and heartless. Greed, Cruelty...and so it continues.
God Bless President Biden and Vice President Harris and the new Administration. Our HOPE remains with you. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to support our precious democracy.🇺🇸❣️
Some people need to have monsters in their life. They will seek them out. And where there are none, they will invent them. Gramsci is right on. The new world being born brings uncertainty. And with uncertainty brings fear for some, hope for others The madman in the white house continues his scorched earth approach to life, demonizing anyone and anything that gets in his way, providing an ample supply of monsters for those who seek them. Politics has always been like this when the humanity is on the verge of bettering itself. I have hope that this too shall pass. I stopped feeding my monsters a long time ago. Peace to all of you
The future is a consequence of today’s choices. Pre ordination and destiny are a myth. Wise choices and sound action on those choices will produce a tomorrow of promise. Poor choices and a failure to act in a responsible manner ensures a bleak future without hope for a better future. Every day presents each of us and our collective society with new choices, a new fork in the road. We can choose light or the darkness, good or evil, civility or disharmony, a better tomorrow or disaster, right or wrong. There is seldom a true middle road without consequence. Throughout our history as a country we have collectively made both wise and foolish choices and then pursued those well or failed to fulfill their promise. For the last four years we have suffered under the leadership of fools who have made poor choice after poor choice, and whose actions have had consequences that should have instructed better future choices. So where are we now? New day, new choices. Which path will our leaders take? Will we allow those who have lead us into the hostile wilderness in which we find ourselves to continue to make choices for our future, or will we listen to those with the wisdom and experience to lead us to a better tomorrow? This is the choice we face collectively as a country. We can take the path to the left or the right and go all together. Where one goes, we all go. Taking separate paths is not an option.
So do not sit silently and hope the wise will prevail. Experience and history shows the voice of fools is loud and their words persuasive. Critical thinking, wisdom, experience, capability, and accomplishment are the values and voices we should heed.
Today ... everyone choose wisely. Tomorrow ... follow the plan and then make wise choices again. Whatever happens, every consequence will be a direct result of our actions and choices. Dr. Richardson is urging us all to look to and learn from the path we have travelled, our history and the lessons it should teach us and how those learnings should inform our choices.
Listen to the teachings and please all, choose wisely, choose decisively, and pay attention.
A stunning organic Letter as eras collide. A friction fractured moment of realization, an earthquake moment / shift sly as the turn of an eye when a lover finds another time for goodbye moment. Danger and promise passing sock slipping off an ankle close. Old men desperate grasping ignorant giving way to softer wisdom / ancient timeless inexorable not of flesh but love of life wisdom.
Melania Trump said, "As you may know by now, when you attack him [Trump] he will punch back 10 times harder."*
And now he is apparently seriously considering an option to declare martial law. This guy is the worst thing to happen to America and much of the world since WWII, and he can't be gone from the White House soon enough! Nevertheless, a part of me wishes he would try to declare martial law. At that point, I'm very confident the military would lock him down instead of his political opponents. With the state of emergency only in his mind, this talk is treasonous.
America needs a full accounting of all the damage he and his administration have done, all the laws he has broken. If Mr. Biden follows past examples and does not allow the Justice Department to fully expose Trump's criminal conduct and prosecute him accordingly, then a horrible precedent will be set. It's one thing to let a former president off the hook for actions such as Nixon's. It's quite another matter to let this guy off the hook. I will not be surprised by anything he and his administration did that might come to light after he's gone from office.
Thank you Heather for this on point letter.
I am most impressed with Bidens' appointment of Harland then any thus far. How is it that it has taken our Nation this long to make a proper appointment to this Department?
I am watching this latest spin out of Trump with his closed meetings with the most inappropriate characters as perhaps just letting a burned out President play with a broken game board until the clock runs out in his term. I wish I knew if this tantrum is truly an idle threat. The bombastic numbers of those infected and lost by this unaddressed pandemic continue to dishearten my take on this Administration. I cannot get the thought that this pandemic was planned out of the back of my head. I would like to think that humans are not capable of being this evil but I look at this Administration and I cannot disprove it.
Stay safe. Stay well.
Haaland’s appointment is inspired and just; it’s about time the people who understand our assigned role as stewards of the land have their rightful voice and leadership in that place of power. I have always revered the indigenous peoples in this hemisphere and this continent. I have spent time on the Pine Ridge and have friends there who persevere and stoically persist against all odds to make life sustainable for themselves and their people with a quiet resilience and brilliant, understated humour that ripples through the wasteland of their collective, centuries-old grief and persecution. Haaland knows all of this in her bones, and I look forward to supporting her efforts to lead us all in recognising our undeniable dependence and humble place upon Mother Earth. 🌎
it is plain, simple & clear that #tRump’s recent actions are treasonous.
he and his ‘friends’ in this act must be arrested soon... before it is too late.
n. The betrayal of allegiance toward one's own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts.
n. The betrayal of someone's trust or confidence.
n. A betraying; treachery; breach of faith.